Thursday, February 04, 2016

New Hampshire

As we move from Iowa to New Hampshire, the dynamics have changed. Now we have Cruz, Trump and even Bush, taking shots at Rubio. That tells me rather transparently, that they are afraid of the momentum that Rubio is generating.

In my 78 years, which includes the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960, I find this the best parallel to Rubio. Kennedy was an inexperienced Senator that elevated his campaign through the wonder of television. The boyish face, the bouffant hair and the force of his personality got him elected over the stoic Richard Nixon. Later, the rigid right wing libertarianism  cost Goldwater all but two states.

There are some parallels with Marco Rubio, who has two things that stand out. First, as in the Kennedy campaign, it wasn't about issues, it was about slogans and personality. Many, if not most voters identify with those traits. how many of you remember the electric quote, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." That ranks right up with the Gettysburg address.

We'll never know whether Kennedy would have made a great president or not. His life cut short,  death made him more famous than his accomplishments. But many airports and other monuments were named after him.

My point here is this. some of us Republicans  tend to value philosophical purity over winning. Given that all office seekers, from both parties spout nothing but platitudes while campaigning, the reality is that personality wins.

Of the remaining Republican candidates, Trump, Rubio, Cruz and possibly Kasich and Bush, if they survive New Hampshire, the personality of Rubio shines above all of the rest. This is important because of those that are looking beyond the primaries and conventions, want a candidate that can like Kennedy, relate to the people with warmth and a positive attitude and win in November, which in the early frays sometimes escapes voters minds. 

1 comment:

Bay Views said...

Following the debates, how many candidates smile, other than Rubio. Bingo.